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Davante Adams, Packers' leadership council helping buy into Joe Philbin

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Davante Adams, Packers' leadership council helping buy into Joe Philbin

Davante Adams has taken what has otherwise been a dismal season for the Green Bay Packers and made a career year out of it.

Not only has Adams become the first Packers wide receiver since Sterling Sharpe to record 70 receptions and double-digit touchdowns in three consecutive seasons, but he topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and currently ranks tied for sixth at his position in yardage.

Adams has taken the leap to being the Packers' undisputed No. 1 receiver, as well as frequently showing up in many of the general public's "top-five wide receivers" lists. 

But for the first time in his professional career, Adams will need to adjust to something out his control: A head coaching change.

"We still have football games to win," Adams said on Wednesday. "Obviously, this is a tough spot for this team right now and Mike [McCarthy] in particular, but that’s how it goes. Just the nature of the beast. The show must continue, so we gotta get to work and buy into what Joe [Philbin] has planned for us."

The highest extent of change Adams has had to deal with in his career came in the form of positional coaches subbing in and out. Adams had Edgar Bennett as his receivers coach in his rookie year, Alex Van Pelt in 2015, Luke Getsy for two years and David Raih this year.

While acknowledging the woeful state the team is currently in, there are four games left on the Packers' schedule, and the primary focus right now is investing into Philbin while he adjusts to his new -- and possibly temporary -- role as the team's interim head coach.

The Packers, who are 0-6 on the road this season, won't have an opportunity to improve or diminish that record further this Sunday when they welcome the Atlanta Falcons into Green Bay for the first time in four years.

It's vital, to Adams and others, that the team does finish the year on a high note. Not only for momentum to be carried over into 2019 but for Philbin, who could be fielding head coaching opportunities from other teams -- even the Packers -- this offseason.

"We have a leadership council who meets every now and then," Adams said. "We met and talked and just made sure everybody knows we still have a job to do as far as keeping the young guys' mind right through the changes. Because it’s a big deal being a rookie and having something go like this, having to deal with a long season is already enough but having to change a new head coach - not mid-season but during the season - can kinda weigh on you.

"The leaders and captains of this team are just coming together to make sure everybody has the right mind frame to finish this season."

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers won't be resting himself at any point in these upcoming four games; he's said as much. Adams will have every opportunity to improve on his already impressive 2018 resume before the culmination of the season.

Adams is already tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown for the most receiving touchdowns since 2016 (33). Through 12 games, he already has career-highs in targets (127), catches (85), yards (1,115), yards per game (92.9) and catch percentage (66.9). 

If there's been any consistent performer on offense this season outside of center Corey Linsley, who has quietly had a Pro Bowl season, Adams is certainly in contention for being the front-runner. 

"There’s no magic play. At the end of the day, it’s still up to us to go out and execute. You can’t drop a play that’s going to work every time. It doesn’t matter; those guys get paid too. It’s up to us to take ownership and make sure whatever [Philbin] calls, works. It was the same with Mike."


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (48) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

HankScorpio's picture

In this soap opera of a season. it would not surprise me if the Packers play like a weight is lifted from their shoulders.

3 of the last 4 are against bottom 10 teams in the NFL. If they just stop shooting themselves in the foot, they can easily win the 3, costing themselves draft spots, thrusting Philbin into the HC search and creating more storylines in the running edition of "All My Packers"

Razer's picture

..."All My Packers"... Too funny.

dobber's picture

I miss "All My Packers" was a hoot.

For those who never heard it, it was a late 80s early 90s spoof of the Forrest Gregg era Packers that played two episodes a week on WLZR out of Milwaukee. It ended when the Packers actually became credible. Enjoy! There are several episodes on youtube.

HankScorpio's picture

Word of warning for people tempted to give the episodes a listen. They are from the 80s and not something that would be aired in the current social environment. If you can handle that, they are pretty funny, IMO. If that sets you off, you're better off skipping the link.

HankScorpio's picture

Credit where it is due....As Dobber indicates, the line was lifted from a FM morning radio show in the late 80s...Bob and Brian,

And yes, it was very funny bit. That started at the end of the Forrest Gregg era and bled in to Lindy Infante's time. There was a rich gold mine of materials.

Just like now.

dobber's picture

I just watched/listened to 4 episodes and laughed so hard that the others around me are wondering what my problem is...or at least what it is today...

I love the Dominic Gentile Igor character. He's awesome...and Randy Wright as Pee Wee Herman. Majkowski as Bullwinkle...

HankScorpio's picture

I had a similar experience in my cube at work a short time ago. Except my co-workers are kinda used to it so they didn't bat an eye. :)

One of my favorites was Brent Fullwood dropping everything then saying "ah man, it slipped outta my hands!!"

dobber's picture


LambeauPlain's picture

Hilarious! Gentile as Igor with Peter Lorre's voice...Infante with Marlon Brando's voice....and Majkowski as bullwinkle, Wright as Pee Wee is a gut splitter.

Creative and irreverent...but I lived through the dark days of Gregg and the futility of Infante.

At least Starr's teams could move the ball and were exciting to watch.

Since '61's picture

I'm am a little surprised that Rodgers is not expecting to rest over the remaining games. I would think that after the Bears game the Packers would want to give some snaps to Kizer and Boyle so they could validate whether to keep them or chuck them.

I'm also not sure what is to be gained by playing Rodgers and exposing him to further injuries. Thanks, Since '61

HankScorpio's picture

What is to be gained from playing Rodgers is an easy thing to explain. Herm Edwards did so quite well rather famously.

"You play to win the game. You don't play to just play it. That's the great thing about sports. You play to win. I don't care if you don't have any wins, you play to win. You start telling me it doesn't matter, then retire."

It loses something without the incredulous looks on Edwards' face as if he cannot comprehend why there is a question whether tanking games is a bad idea. Full effect here;

At the heart of that is competitive spirit and not backing down from a challenge--two things that are vital to success in sports. I've had lots of questions about Rodgers this year. Those two things are not among my questions. For that reason, I'm surprised that you're surprised that Rodgers wants to play. Of course he wants to play. And play to win. That's why he's in the position where a season where he looks like a mere mortal is considered such a disaster against his previous standards. Because he always wants to play to win. No matter the stakes or no matter the game.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"What is to be gained from playing Rodgers is an easy thing to explain."

So is what to be gained by sitting him.

dobber's picture

First off, I want Rodgers to WANT to play out the season. If Philbin comes to him and says, "we're thinking of playing Kizer for a couple games", I want Rodgers to get pissed off. If he wants to sit, then his mindset is shot and the Packers just blew a huge wad of cash and will wallow in the Pit of Despair for the near future. He needs to be on the field, he needs to get his head on straight, and he needs to generate momentum going into 2019.

Second: if you're going to attract the best candidate for your open HC position, #12 needs to show he can still play at a high level and will still lay it out even for an interim like Philbin. Nothing will attract a hot coaching prospect better than a QB who can ball.

Third: if evaluation is the goal, how much evaluation and how much chemistry is going to be built between #12 and young WRs like MVS, ESB, and Kumerow going into 2019 if they aren't getting reps together? I want them doing that now...not in the first four weeks of 2019. If Kizer is throwing to those guys, how much stake can you really put in their performances?

Fourth: this team is going nowhere in 2019 with Kizer or Boyle under center. Nowhere. Period. Sure, they could throw them out there against the Jets or Lions to see what they can do, but what are you really accomplishing? "Hey, now we know that the backup QB we have is/is not really capable of doing X in the situation where we still are unlikely to win games." What's more, they'll be repping in a system that may look nothing like what they'll be playing in 2019. I have no problem with Kizer playing a quarter in a game that's mostly decided, but it's all on #12 in 2019 and 2020. Kizer isn't the QB of the future. Neither is Boyle. #12's contract should have put those thoughts to rest a long time ago.

Last: any game, any practice, any snap, any drill can end a player's season at any time. We could pack #12 in bubble wrap if we want, but these guys all accept that risk. If he's healthy and it's not week 17 with a team locked into playoff seeding, he's the leader of your team. He should be playing.

Handsback's picture

Yep, agree 1000%. Rodgers has as much to prove as the third string CB or TE. This team has to overcome the horrible season that they have had. It would shock me to see them win out, but would love it.
A word of matter how they do this year, that momentum won't carry them over to next year unless they get a huge influx of talent esp. in the offensive line, and safety positions.

packerbackerjim's picture

Rodgers need to prove a damn thing to anyone other than himself. He knows quite well if his performance is unsatisfactory. The folks who post complete bullshit wouldn’t know a great QB if he bit them on the ass.

packerbackerjim's picture

Doesn’t need to prove..

Gort's picture


Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Powerful comment, Dobber.

Portland Mark's picture

Not to mention that many fans pay a lot of money for tickets to see Aaron Rodgers play. I had a ticket to Sunday's game and Rodgers was healthy but didn't play I'd be pissed.

mrtundra's picture

Rodgers has sat enough this year.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

When did he "sit"?

The guy played with an MCL sprain. WTH are you talking about?

KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

Bench guys like Graham who the Pack shouldn't bring back and play Tonyan the rest of the way. Play Burks and give him experience and let's see what we have. Play all three rookie WRs extensively and bench Cobb who likely isn't coming back. Kizer and Boyle should play at minimum of two quarters of each game the rest of the way.

To not do the above IMHO is almost criminal. Give them and other young players experience to see what you have and where to focus your draft capital next year. Really a shame Madison isn't with team as he likely would have received lots of playing time.

Gort's picture

KTSOOY, I agree with most and gave it a "like". Not so sure about the amount of playing time you suggest for Kizer and Boyle as it relates to evaluating young receivers. Both QBs need to get some real game snaps, but we need to see what the wideouts can do with 12 throwing. Definitely need to see less play time for the underperformers, no matter what their previous reputations or paychecks.

dobber's picture

Reading more and more linking Josh "hoodie, Jr" McDaniels to the Packers. At this stage, it's mostly bloggers and clickbait, but if there are assistant coaches out there really changing their plans in anticipation of this? Then THIS is why the Packers cut bait on MM early.

Don't get me wrong: I'm no McDaniels supporter. I think he's now showed himself to be a major dink by running Denver into the ground and then spurning the Colts at the 13th hour (do you think he would've done that if he knew Luck would play as well as he has this year?). But it's interesting speculation.

4thand10's picture

Yeah... no thanks on McDaniels. Your right , those were pretty dick moves on Denver and Indy.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

McDaniels pulling out is not really the shocking thing it's being made out to be.

Everyone wants to paint McDaniels as the Dick. But, Chris Ballard was the one who tweeted that McDaniels would be coming BEFORE he had a signed contract and BEFORE McDaniels had his exit interview for his current job he WAS under contract for.

Don't like McDaniels backing out, but Ballard and the Colts are not victims. He's a rookie GM who blew the hire.

We are being lead to believe this never happens, but the reality is this stuff happens all the time.

Lare's picture

I'm surprised any potential assistant coaches would be that anxious to work with McDaniels at this point, they were the ones that really got screwed in the Colts fiasco. Some of them had already quit their previous jobs and were making plans to move to Indianapolis. When McDaniels changed his mind at the last minute they were out of a job.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I've seen those articles. They always seam to be short on names.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Oh, lots of downvotes but no names of assistant s who are "on the record" pissed at McDaniels.


RCPackerFan's picture

I have seen a lot of talk about McDaniels too. While I'm not a huge fan I will just say that while he didn't do well in Denver he didn't have a hall of fame QB there either. How did Belichek do in Cleveland? How have other coaches done without star QB's?
If McDaniels or whoever for the matter comes to GB his biggest obstacle will be getting Rodgers to buy into what he wants to do.

If McDaniels is the choice all we can do is give him a real chance.

As far as what happened with the Colts, it is a bit concerning but I don't know how big of a deal we should make of it either.

Gort's picture

Not at all interested in McDaniels.
After further consideration, still no.

GeorgiaCheesehead's picture

Play AR - he needs to build more chemistry with the rookie WR's, and yes, let Kizer, Boyle, Tonyan, Kumerow. get some reps.

LeotisHarris's picture

""We have a leadership council who meets every now and then," Adams said. "We met and talked and just made sure everybody knows we still have a job to do as far as keeping the young guys' mind right through the changes."

That's a telling statement from Adams. "A leadership council who meets every now and then..." in a season like this one? Coach McCarthy was big on player leadership, so if that council wasn't meeting every damn day to turn this thing around, then the culture is truly broken.

Remember when Sean Jones and Reggie White came to town? They developed traditions for their unit. Tuesday night chicken wings at a local restaurant was part of that. If the D had a problem, Leroy Butler had Holmgren's ear to help address it. On the offensive side of the ball, guys would die for Favre because he was Favre. Not seeing anything like that kind of leadership right now from anyone, player or coach.

4zone's picture

No Harbaugh, no McDaniels. Would puke if either is our coach next year.

Jamie Freier's picture

Probably just me, but Harbaugh looks like he needs his diaper changed a lot of the time.

4thand1's picture

The Packers are currently sitting at #10 in the draft order. Atlanta, lions, Jets all picking before us at this point. We'll see how this plays out, losing a couple of these games puts the Pack in the top 10. We'll see these teams sitting starters that would normally play if they had a shot at making the playoffs. I don't see AR sitting unless he gets dinged up. I for one want the highest pick we can get.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Me too. I want no starters injured and a higher pick.

JohnnyLogan's picture

Interesting take by Teddy Bruschi... he doesn't believe McDaniels will be Packer coach because Rodgers' ego won't allow it. He doesn't want the perception that it will take Brady's coach to make him better and thus the credit won't be his as much as McDaniels.

HankScorpio's picture

About as interesting as a Skip Bayless take to me. Bruschi is just another voice in the crowd trying to say something provocative so he keeps getting paid to say things. Kinda like Skip Bayless.

What's interesting is that the national narrative has shifted from "MM is wasting Rodgers" to "Rodgers is a diva coach killer". it's the same old BS. Everything is either black or white. Nothing is in the middle. It's the kind of thinking that always wants to boil down the complex into being so simple. But that's rarely true. Football is a team game whose complexity transcends the ability to boil everything down to a single cause or smoking gun.

It can be true that the personnel dept, the coaching staff and the players all have their fingers in the pie of the Packers failed season in 2018. None of the 3 components have sole blame. None of the 3 components are blameless. But making that obvious point won't get people talking so talking heads avoid it.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

TL: DR. You need a better headline. Something screaming, maybe all caps.

But I gave Hank a thumbs up just on general principles. Well, and because I read it.

cheesehead1's picture

Give Kumerow lots of playing time. King on IR is very concerning. If he doesn’t play a full season next year, then time to move on IMO.

ILPackerBacker's picture

Nothing says "LEADERSHIP" like proclaiming your self the best player at your position and whining about a lack of respect....because as we all know the new age players hate respect and only respect those they look down on.

There is no better example of this then the TOTAL failure of effort on running on 4th and short with the season on the line in MN and literally not getting a finger on your man who makes the key stop in the game.

No wonder this team sank.

ckoski's picture

For me, the question of who plays is still simple...whoever gives them the best chance to win the game. As unlikely as a playoff appearance is, they are not eliminated. Until that occurs, no one is sitting.

Lare's picture

Even when they are eliminated they have to play to win. There are many players playing for potential roster spots and new contracts next year, it wouldn't be fair to them if they didn't have the best players around them giving 100%.

HankScorpio's picture

I'm not kidding myself about the playoffs. But I want them to win. The guys on the roster today will have a bigger impact on 2019 than the difference between a few spots in the draft order. Washing away the stench of losing is always desirable. As St. Moss said in the Holy Tweet of Antioch, #losingsucks.

Gort's picture

"Until that occurs, no one is sitting."
Unless the player is not effective. Guys playing hard get more reps, even if they do not have names evrybody knows.

Packer Fan's picture

When things go awry, comments are made and things start coming out that support the issues occurring. Like the Packers focused their offense on down field patterns. They take longer to happen and the coaching staff did not account for the reduced protection from their starters. Result poor third down efficiency. Just like when McCarthy took over from Sherman, there is a lack of talent. But really a mix of ability and durability. And I am not sure about McDaniels as the new coach. Pick someone with a good offensive mind. Or pick a defensive coach who knows would know who could be he offensive coordinator. Which means, beat the bushes. The Pack has alot still to prove. And to start the resetting needed. Perhaps they can learn to use short passing routes and use Jones more as a weapon. And to win a few games.

Donster's picture

Don't want Jim Harbaugh. Not sure about McDaniels. I think he probably has a deal in place to take over when Belichick hangs it up. Which could be this year if he wins another Super Bowl (ack). But another possibility, and I have not heard his name mentioned much, is John Harbaugh. Good defensive coach. Mature. Treats his players with respect and cares about them. Has had success for a long time. Puts good coaches around him. He probably will be available if the Ravens don't get into the playoffs, as have read they are looking at moving on from him, much like GB and McCarthy. His wife is from the Midwest, and wants to return there. His daughter is starting college at Notre Dame. Green Bay isn't to far away from South Bend. He went to high school in An Arbor. Born in Ohio, so his root are in the Midwest too. He would bring stability to GB, or maybe continue the stability, but move the team in the right direction in a short period of time.

Who knows. College coaches scare me. What you can do with 18 year old kids and with 22+ year old men is pretty different. Hell even Nick Saban couldn't hack it in the NFL.

Another name I heard, and almost choked on my sandwich, is Jim Caldwell. He is good with QB's. But he wouldn't be way up on my list.

Crazy things do happen though, when you least expect it.

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"The Bears still suck!"
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."